In the spring of 2020, the administration of the Orange Volunteer Fire Association was faced with an especially important and difficult decision to cancel the annual carnival. Each year the carnival generates about 1/3 of our annual budget, cancelling the carnival was a must for the safety of the public and our members but it brought about another crisis, funding.
In early June, Jim Leahy of the Orange Board of Finance reached out to me to discuss an idea they had to help address the financial predicament that the Orange Volunteer Fire Association was facing. In the initial meeting, it was conveyed that they are representing a committee of people who wanted to help us conquer our impending financial crisis. Together we worked and came up with the idea of the “Fire Truck 50K Challenge”. This slogan was used to coin the effort to help the fire department make a payment on the loan we have for a recently purchased fire truck (Quint 32). I am delighted to report that the success of this effort not only generated the $50,000 to make the fire truck loan payment, but to cover some of the costs we incur annually for mandated inspection of our apparatus, firefighting, and rescue equipment.
It is important to talk about the unexpected bonus because of this collaborative effort. Through the marketing process to solicit support, the residents and the business community in the Town of Orange learned about our organization and the valuable contributions we make to the Town. Professional relationships were strengthened, and new relationships were developed both professionally and personally. This accomplishment is all because a committee of elected community members saw a problem and proactively tackled it.
On behalf of the men and women of the Orange Volunteer Fire Association, I extend our gratitude to the many residents and businesses who contributed to our venture and especially to Jim Leahy, Rick Roberts, and the members of the Board of Finance for their commitment to the success of this endeavor.
Vaughan Dumas – Fire Chief, Orange Volunteer Fire Department